1 Thessalonians 5v16-18
Have you ever felt that God’s will for your life was a huge secret that He keeps hidden. And, as a result, you muddle through life by trial and error? Or you may feel it is very nice for God to know His will for you but what can you do about it? God very much wants us to know his will for our lives and he has given us a way to be sure that what we are doing pleases Him and is what he would have us do.

This morning’s verses come from the first letter Paul wrote to the church in the city of Thessalonica. Paul the author of the letter who is accompanied by Silvanus (Silas) and Timothy, is writing to encourage and teach the newly formed church on the basics of Christian living and the hope we have in Christ. Guiding them in a way that is pleasing to God, Paul finishes his letter with a few commands – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances. He explains this as being the will of God for those who are believers in Christ Jesus.

To rejoice always is to take joy and delight in the things of everyday life no matter the circumstance. Happiness is often situational but true joy goes deeper than that – it is an unshakable confidence given to us by God.

Praying provides clarity and peace in our decision making. I have never heard the audible voice of God but on many occasions, I have experienced His answer by the peace or lack of it in my conscience. It is so important for us to keep the communication lines open with God by reading His word and praying for guidance and understanding. Don’t ever give up praying, it is always worth it.

Gratitude is frequently overlooked, so often we expect things to go our way, that when they do we see it as our right, not a blessing. There is nothing worse than ungratefulness and our circumstances shouldn’t dictate how grateful we are to God, for He has already saved us by the death and resurrection of His Son.

God’s will is never contrary to His word. Our obedience to His word is what He desires of us. He has given us the freedom to choose to follow His way, He does not force us to choose Him. When it comes to decisions that do not disobey His word He again gives us the freedom to choose. We can not see the “big picture” of life like God does and so we must trust Him in all circumstances and instead of questioning the why, let us rejoice, pray and give thanks that He is in control and is able to meet all our needs.

Further reading:
Psalm 37 (especially verses 3-5)

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